NSTI Nanotech 2009

Nanoparticle-modified polymer capsules as carrier systems for biosensing and drug delivery

L.L. del Mercato, A.A. Zahoor, P. Rivera_Gil, A. Muņoz_Javier, P. del Pino, W.J. Parak
Philipps University of Marburg, DE

Keywords: capsules, polymers, nanoparticles, drug delivery, biosensors


Multilayer polyelectrolyte capsules are spherical microcontainers based on layer-by-layer adsorption of oppositely charged polyelectrolyte polymers onto a sacrificial template followed by the decomposition of this template. Compared to other systems (such as liposomes, block copolymers, and dendrimer polymers) polymer capsules have many advantageous properties which make them attractive candidates for medical applications including biosensing and drug delivery. Firstly, they can be synthesized under mild conditions by using numerous different materials. Secondly, their functional properties can be well-defined by embedding different nanoscale building blocks (as colloidal inorganic nanoparticles or biomolecules) within and on top of their wall. Thirdly, they can efficiently host (biological) macromolecules within their cavity for numerous biomedical applications. Finally, they can be composed of biocompatible materials for the delivery of encapsulated materials into cells. In this work the main concepts concerning the fabrication of polyelectrolyte capsules based on calcium carbonate cores are described and their applications for delivery and sensing in cells are showed. The use of these systems is envisioned to open new ways in a broad range of disciplines since their properties may be promptly tailored to specific applications by varying the nature of the encapsulated material and the polymer shell composition.
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